EDITORIAL: One fewer custodian means much dirtier campus

Mohini Rye
“Job Interview”

Pick up your trash! Take home your textbooks! Wipe your feet before entering a classroom!

Our campus needs all the help it can get now that the night-maintenance crew is short-handed.

Over the summer, custodian Matt Liedtke was promoted from the night-shift crew to the day shift when he also drives the school bus, leaving his fellow night custodians, Sanjesh Prasad and Dhinesh Kumar, to pick up the slack.

A replacement for Liedtke has not been looked for because the budget, weakened by low enrollment, will not allow it, according to Jay Holman, director of the physical plant.

However, Holman said that he is hopeful that in the following months a new night custodian will be hired because late tuition fees will come trickling in during the first few weeks of school.

Holman said that for the time being, lacking custodians is “hard on everyone.”

The PE department is one of the groups most affected by the insufficient number of custodians.

Michelle Myers, physical education department chair, said that the department has been vacuuming the carpet outside the PE office, disinfecting the water fountains, doors and handles, and sanitizing the locker rooms and bathrooms while completing other maintenance tasks in the gym since the beginning of the school year.

However, Myers said that the PE teachers can’t take care of the gym on their own. Last week, a Coke spill remained on the gym floor for several days, and students unknowingly tracked the sticky syrup across campus.

In addition, she pointed out that the gym has the highest traffic flow of all areas on campus. Lower-, middle- and high-school students enter the gym almost every day for athletics, the whole campus is packed into the gym for pep rallies, and athletes shuffle in and out for games every other day.

Perhaps we have become a bit spoiled. Schools in Japan require their students to clean their classrooms and do not hire custodians, according to senior Marigot Fackenthal. This is meant to teach students responsibility and respect for their surroundings. SCDS students might do well to learn these life skills.

Myers said that she would be grateful if a team of students would be willing to check on the restrooms and locker rooms every now and then during lunch.

However, our demanding schedules and classes teach us responsibility in other ways, so we don’t always have time to vacuum the carpets or wipe down the desks.

And teachers have enough on their plates without the additional burden of having to keep their rooms spick and span.

Myers said that the PE department’s biggest concern is keeping the campus safe. The sweat and blood left behind by athletes can carry dangerous illnesses, so students should not attempt to handle any contaminated surfaces.

Obviously, the best solution is to hire a new custodian, and we highly recommend that the administration make this one of their top budget priorities.

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